Gnome Alone (2015)

gnome-aloneMy first new horror movie of 2015, and it has to be GNOME ALONE, and I seriously hope this is not meant as a portent of things to come. But really, I have only myself to blame, don’t I? The fucking movie’s called GNOME ALONE, which I suppose is an improvement over its original title, the very generic LEGEND (though trying to improve this turd with a funny title is like calling the STD you picked up Clam Chowder: it’s still gonna hurt).

And it stars Mini-Me Verne Troyer, and before I go on, let me take a moment to discuss the plight of actors of short stature. There’s been a long history of their being relegated to the roles of dwarves, munchkins, leprechauns, elves, pixies, mad scientist assistants, droid innards… they’re treated as jokes for the most part.

Awww, isn't he cute?

Awww, isn’t he cute?

Oh, some, like Peter Dinklage can get decent roles like in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM, where his height is inconsequential to the character he’s playing, but then Dinklage has got some acting chops behind him. The only other one who comes close to him is Warwick Davis, who was cruelly kicked out of his Leprechaun gig by the pinheads in Lionsgate. But the rest? Let’s face it, they’re not good actors. Kenny Baker? What the hell do you do in the R2D2 suit anyway? “Oh, I turn the head and make it go BEEP.” Get back in the tin can, you midge…

Who said that?

Who said that?

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, Verne Troyer. Let’s face it, after Mike Myers leapt off the cliff of respectability with THE LOVE GURU and vanished like a pizza after I’ve arrived at the party, Verne has had nowhere to go. So I can’t really blame him for taking the title role, especially if he thought it would lead him into a franchise of his own; Lionsgate, after all, screwed the pooch with the latest LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS, so Hollywood Media Bridge and Status Media & Entertainment thought they could fill the gap in jokey mythological miniature monster movies.

Needless to say, they didn’t.

Well, he's *a* leprechaun, just not *the* Leprechaun...

Well, he’s *a* leprechaun, just not *the* Leprechaun…

It opens with some woman narrating the legend of a medieval witch who bumped uglies with a leprechaun (Travis Eberhard, STALKING SANTA, though his name sounds more ideal for porn) in order to get his gold, which looks about as real as those chocolate ones I used to get at Christmas. Anyway, the leprechaun gets cheesed off at the deception, and arranges for the local priest to capture her and brand her with a mark that will last for eternity (because consorting with supernatural forces is okay if you’re in a big franchise like the Catholic Church, but not if you’re a woman doing some Independent Magic).

If every Wiccan spell needs two nude women writhing in mud, I'm signing up!

If every Wiccan spell needs two nude women writhing in mud, I’m signing up!

For some reason she is not killed, and vows revenge, and with the help of some soft-porn actresses rolling about in the mud creates a miniature creature to get revenge on the leprechaun (this origin story is getting needlessly convoluted, but I appreciate the gratuitous muddy nudity of the two demonesses): the Gnome (Verne Troyer), who gets to kill the priest. For some reason, however, the Gnome turns out to be more trouble than he’s worth, and as the Witch dies her mark is passed onto some other woman, and with it the Gnome.

Crazy Old Lady Alert!

Crazy Old Lady Alert!

Why? Don’t ask, but we get (an admittedly decent-looking) animated sequence of women down through the centuries, passing on the mark until we get to present day Los Angeles, and bag lady named Ms Mae (Willow Hale, DEVIL GIRL), whose life has been ruined by the as-yet-unseen Gnome (I’m still not getting on why all these women not get the Gnome to do something useful like steal a fortune or go off to collect every dog turd in the world that I seem to step in when I take Edna out for walkies).

Our heroine, folks (and I could use some heroin right about now - BAH DUMPH TISH!

Our heroine, folks (and I could use some heroin right about now – BAH DUMPH TISH!)

The only person halfway kind to her is Zoe (Kerry Knuppe, A VOODOO POSSESSION), a, ahem, “teenager” who works nights in a convenience store, and Zoe is there when Mae is beaten up by some movie thugs (who get theirs courtesy of the Gnome) and later knocked over and killed by a drunken frat boy on a beer run (bad day, really). And as Mae dies, we see the mark on her transfer to Zoe, appearing on her lower back.

The college motto is HOT LESBIAN TEACHERS HERE! (You know, in Latin)

The college motto is HOT LESBIAN TEACHERS HERE!
(You know, in Latin)

Zoe doesn’t notice it, however, too wrapped up is she in her crappy life: a bipolar mother, a stepfather leering and touching her up at every occasion, a stoner boyfriend, a corrupt cop, a lesbian teacher with serious boundary issues who has sex in her office with students in full view of the hallway, and the usual asshole college pricks and sluts who act like they’re still in seventh grade. And whenever Zoe gets fed up and says something to herself like, “I wish that jerk would just choke on his own dick,” well…

Ouch!

Ouch!

Verne’s Gnome appears here and there, chuckles and swears and makes the usual horror movie jokes while killing off all of Zoe’s perceived enemies, while the police can’t fail to make connections between the victims and Zoe. There’s a climax in the college dorm, whose attic contains a neon-packed nightclub with pole dancers and a dildo collection (which is bizarre given that the average frat boy is so sexually unsophisticated they think the Clitoris is a sign of the Zodiac), but then a further, unnecessary end sequence set up for the inevitable sequel.

Women in her underwear with a severed head. Nothing wrong with that.

Women in her underwear with a severed head. Nothing wrong with that.

There are some positives about this: Troyer’s make-up is suitably creepy, and Kerry Knuppe is appealing enough with what she has to work with here. And the kills are decent, too.

But such positives overwhelm the underwhelming nature of this production, the offspring of two directors and three writers. Troyer might look good in stills, but all he really does is waddle around, holding out his stubby arms and sticking his tongue out like a defective doll, and you really pine for what the likes of Warwick Davis or Peter Dinklage would do with this character.

The movie’s title, and the resulting film, tries to capture the goofy so-bad-it’s-good flavour of SyFy movies, but fails. And if you fail at emulating the channel that brought you CHUPACABRA VS THE ALAMO, then you’re ready to drink your Cult Kool-Aid.

GNOME ALONE is available on DVD, VOD and a tequila-induced nightmare. The trailer is below.

Deggsy’s Summary:

Director(s): Timothy Woodward Jr and John Michael Elfers

Plot: 1 out of 5 stars

Gore: 4 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Deggsy. Kiss Me I’m Amish

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